With the recent Lagos Countdown Carnival which climaxed on New Year eve, the Lagos State Government has reaffirmed its resolve to attract foreign investment into the state, with business-friendly policies, infrastructure and tourist attractions.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Ibirogba, stated this during the Lagos Countdown, a cross-over event driven by the Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA). The commissioner explained that government is leveraging the proposition of Lagos as a premium destination for business and leisure, with tourism platforms such as the countdown.
"The Lagos Countdown was conceived to place Lagos on the same scale with cities such as Sydney, London, New York and Los Angeles, which have been known world-wide to celebrate the entry of each year with colourful festivities, while attracting thousands of tourists and businesses with each edition," he said.
He further stated that the event boosts micro economy of the state and also rehabilitates and employs the majority of the high-risk youth and individuals, popularly called area boys, who usually cause nuisance to their communities during the festive seasons.
According to him, an estimated 615 individuals were employed during the course of the event; with a majority of those previously unemployed individuals benefited from the training programmes that were organised to assist them discharge their functions.
Giving the breakdown of the entire initiative, he pointed out that a total of 108 shops were erected, while licensed vendors received stalls, tables and chairs free of charge. "Over 120 vendors participated in the event, while jobs were created in areas of security, crowd control, stewards and information marshals and fireworks rigging and testing," he said.
It was the biggest show in 2012 in terms of participants, calibre and number of artistes that performed. Over 100,000 people converged at the Eko Atlantic City on the year's eve to welcome the New Year in true Lagos style, while millions of people experienced the event via the mass media as well as the social media.
The Lagos Countdown activities came to a climax with a thrilling display of spectacular fireworks, laser beam and water projection as never seen before in the entire continent of Africa. This was complemented by rich musical performances led by an array of A-list Nigerian artistes which include Tu Face Idibia, Tiwa Savage, Olamide, MI, Burna Boy, Darey, Ice Prince, Brymo, De Prince, Durella, Davido, Skales amongst others.